Free pattern Friday: Cozy Ribbed Cowl

misti_ribbed_cowl

(Photo: Lady by the Bay)

Sometimes simple is best. Worked in the round with super-soft Misti Alpaca Chunky (100% baby alpaca), this beautiful 2×2 ribbed cowl couldn’t be easier (or faster) to knit!  The Cozy Ribbed Scarf by Lady by the Bay is a great weekend project, ideal for TV watching or social knitting. Nothing complicated here but the look is both stylish and dramatic.

We currently have 22 colours of Misti Alpaca Chunky in stock :-)

- Melissa

Add socks to your repertoire!

There are still a couple of spots left in our next sock class beginning on Monday. Why not take this opportunity to build on your growing skill-set!

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CUFF-DOWN SOCKS (English Class)
Mona Schmidt
$90 for three 2-hour sessions / 90 $ pour trois séances de 2 heures de 1 heure
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm: January 19, 26, February 2 / 18h 30 à 20h les 19, 26 janvier, 2 février

Learn about the construction of a sock, how to work from the cuff down to the heel, gusset and then toe. I will provide a simple pattern that can be adapted to your needs. If you feel comfortable doing so, you may use a pattern of your choice, just make sure it is cuff down. Required materials: Fingering weight yarn of your choice and needles required to obtain gauge (double pointed or circular for magic loop method). Pre-requisites: cast on, knit, purl, working in the round

Call 514-486-5648 to reserve your spot by credit card.

– Melissa

Fine Tuning

Let’s talk a bit about VHS tapes. Yes, I am aware that ‘VHS’ is not what comes to mind first when hearing the term ‘tuning’ but since I am more familiar with VHS tapes than cars, this analogy will have to do. Do the lot of you even remember VHS tapes?

My VHS remote control had two buttons, side by side, that said ‘tune’ above them. With those you could try to improve the picture, if you thought it was off. Mostly it worked, other than DVD’s and Blueray discs that you pop in the player and hope that it will run properly and none of the digital data is corrupt since there is not much you can do.

I bet you are wondering now what VHS tapes have to do with knitting. Well, nothing really, apart from the tuning. There are a few things you can do to fine tune your knitting – or, if you will – your knitting knowledge.

Today we are going to learn about ‘sl1′. Easy, right? ‘Slip 1′ is the explanation when you look it up in the legend. Let’s pretend you have never slipped a stitch. How would you go about it?

Slipping a stitch means essentially moving a stitch without knitting it. Okay, that you get. But now you start thinking. Or not. Maybe you just go ahead and slip it as if to knit, meaning you insert your needle knit wise and slip it over to the other needle. There. Slip 1. What you missed here is that when you slip a stitch knit wise, you twist it. If you look at it closely, you will see that the ‘legs’ of the stitch are crossed. And they are not meant to be crossed, they should be open, so when you pull the stitch, the stitch opens up more widely.

I am going to fine tune your knitting now. Get this:

If a pattern says ‘sl1′ you always slip purl wise, unless the pattern says otherwise, i.e. knit wise.

When you slip a stitch purl wise, it just gets moved from one needle to the other. Sans twisting.

So from now on pay attention if the pattern just says ‘sl1′ (i.e. purl wise), or if it says ‘sl 1 knit wise’. It seems a small thing, but it is important.

On that note, happy knitting, as ever!

- Mona

New in store: Addi FlipStix & Hiya Hiya Single Point Adapter Sets

Addi FlipStix

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Fabricated from high-grade aluminum, these colorful ultra-lightweight double-pointed needles feature dual tips (each needle features both a Turbo® tip and a Lace tip for added flexibility of use). A revolutionary design, FlipStix™ are available in store in 6” and 8” lengths, in every size from 2 mm through 8 mm (US 0 – 11).

Hiya Hiya Single Point Adapter SETS

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(Uses interchangeable tips)

Add even more versatility to your HiyaHiya Interchangeables with HiyaHiya’s Single Point Adapter Set. Create single point needles in a variety of lengths.  Total length varies based on the combination of adapters and extenders and your needle tip length. Single point adapter sets are available in SMALL (to fit needle sizes 2-8 US (2.75-5mm) or LARGE to fit needles sizes 9-15 US (5.5-10mm).

Set includes:
Panda Stoppers
3.5″ Single Point Adapters
2″ Single Point Extenders
3.5″ Single Point Extenders

Interchangeable Tips are not included.

- Melissa

Stephen & Steven Inspirational Trunk Shows

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Stephen & Steven’s classes scheduled for February 14th and 15th are now sold out but, fret not, we’ve arranged two more opportunities for you to meet them!

INSPIRATIONAL TRUNK SHOWS – $15 -

Saturday, February 14th 10:30 am – 12:00 pm OR Sunday, February 15th 12:30 – 2:00 pm 

Come in and meet Stephen & Steven and see many of their designs up close and in person.  Hear their stories and be inspired to find the perfect yarn combinations for your next projects – you may even be able to get personal guidance from the masters! Stephen and Steven will also be traveling with yarns and memorabilia designed exclusively for the tour so save the date(s) and don’t miss out! Light refreshments will be served.

Space is limited. Please call us at 514-486-5648 to reserve your spot with a credit card.

Don’t forget to:
Bring a notepad to document your favorite looks.
Wear or bring a project you have completed for show and tell!

About Stephen & Steven

Stephen West is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma. After moving to the Chicago area, he caught the knitting bug and started designing patterns while epic amounts of wool infiltrated into his life. There was no looking back. He now lives in Amsterdam and travels frequently teaching knitting workshops throughout the United States and Europe. He creates his own series of popular self-published pattern collections and also designs for Malabrigo Yarns and knitty.com.

Click here to check out Stephen’s designs on Ravelry

Steven Berg is a fiber artisan that is armed with a wealth of experience, a daring sense of style, and a firm belief in the transformative power of creativity that knitting or crocheting offers to all who are brave enough to push the boundaries.  Berg began his career early as a young boy, furiously knitting lines of sequin dresses for a discerning clientele of Barbies in Wisconsin.  This naturally led him to become a star student in fashion design at both Parsons and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Following graduation, Berg found inspiration in the beautiful, fashion capitals of the world for many years, as a VP of design at Perry Ellis. His creative work experiences brought him back to his favorite medium again, the one that always inspired him the most, the imaginative world of fiber arts. Steven’s knitwear designs of ‘chunky funky’ creations have caught the attention of Hollywood celebrities and stylists.  Steven reminds all fiber aficionados: ‘The possibilities are endless.’ ‘There are no mistakes, only variations.’ And always remember to ‘Glam it up!’

Click here to check out Stevenbe’s designs on Ravelry.

Project idea: Giant Luxury Shawl

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This is another giant version of the Simple Luxury Shawl (here’s our first one) based on modifications provided by Pickles on their website here.  For this version I again stranded Manos del Uruguay’s Maxima (100% Merino) and Shibui’s Silk Cloud (a match made in yarn-heaven) but used slightly smaller needles. Oh, how I love this incredibly warm yet light-as-air shawl / wrap / scarf! It was meant to be a store sample but I cannot part with it because it is too delicious… Will reconsider in a few weeks. :-)

Click here for additional photos and project details on our Ravelry project page.

giant_luxury_fuschia2

- Melissa

Still some space…

…in these upcoming classes!  For more information, visit our Classes & Workshops page. To register, call 514 486-5648!

INSPIRA COWL / COL INSPIRA (Bilingual Class)
Giovanna Clementi

$90 for three 2-hour sessions / 90 $ pour trois séances de 2 heures
6 pm – 8 pm, January 14, 21, 28 / 18h à 20h, les 14, 21, 28 janvier

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THRUM MITTENS (English Class)
Corinne Goss
$90 for three 2-hour sessions / 90 $ pour trois séances de 2 heures
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, January 16, 23, 30

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SUPER COSY CABLED BEANIE (Bilingual Class)
Amalia Siontas
$90 for three 2-hour sessions / 90 $ pour trois séances de 2 heures
10 am – 12 pm, January 18, 25, February 1/ 10h à 12h, les 18, 25, janvier, 1 février

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CROCHET 101 (Bilingual Class)
Giovanna Clementi
$90 for three 2-hour sessions / 90 $ pour trois séances de 2 heures
9 am – 11 am, January 19, 26, February 2 / 09h à 11h, les 19, 26 janvier, 2 février

Free pattern Friday: Mimic

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Mimic by Veronika Jobe is a relaxed and stylish pullover that can be worn as a vest or as a shorter sleeved drop shoulder sweater in warmer weather. The designer notes that there are no short rows at work here; the flattering hem line in back is actually achieved by dint of the gauge, drape, and construction characteristics of the sweater.  Knit with DK weight yarn, we think this would be beautiful in everything from hand-dyes like Tanis Fiber Arts Yellow Label and Madelinetosh Tosh DK to more rustic options such as Rowan Creative Linen and Felted Tweed.

My fingers are itching to cast this on but I need to get some WIPs off my needles first! :-)

- Melissa

mimic1mimic3

Still Here, It Is Cold, I Got Nothing

This really sums it up.

I do not know about you but now that the Holidays are over and we are back to our regular lives, I am left a bit empty. I was busy before Christmas, had a lovely time with my family and then went back to work on the 30th. Not that I do not understand, but the store was buzzing like there is no tomorrow. Every day until on Sunday the nasty weather hit. I mean, seriously? (The weather, not that the store was busy.)

Snow, rain, ice, slush – everything covered in one day and then Monday – do I even have to talk about Monday? (And yes, I did fall down on my a$$ once, even though I tried very hard not to).  This morning I walked my kid to school and thought my eyelashes were sure to break off because they felt frozen. Shortly after that I spoke to my Mom on the phone and told her how cold it is here. (For those who were not here: Minus 24 degrees, and it felt like minus 32). There was a long silence and then she said “maybe I shouldn’t mention that it is 8 degrees here, it kinda feels wrong”. Then this afternoon before picking my kid up from school I checked the temperature and I caught myself thinking “oh, only minus 14 degrees”. Only.

Anyways. I am thinking about knitting this. I don’t have cashmere, but I do have lots of Madelinetosh Tosh Light to use for it – and I might use some more Edison Bulb. As I said, thinking about it.

What about you? What is your first project for the new year?

Happy 2015 everyone and happy knitting, as ever!

- Mona

Mystére: A Mystery Knit-a-Long

sknitb_kalWe’ve knit several of Susan Barstein’s (sknitsb) patterns including A Slice of Linen and Watercolors and always enjoy her fresh and straightforward style.  Susan is hosting her first knit-along beginning January 15th featuring one of our new favourite yarns – Weepaca from Big Bad Wools. We have no idea what this mystery project is but the information provided on Susan’s Ravelry page indicates something for the neck or torso – a cowl? scarf? shrug? Half the fun will be in finding out as you knit!

How does this work?

  1. Purchase pattern through Ravelry before January 15th to obtain an outline of the schedule, yardage and gauge.
  2. Beginning January 15, you will receive the first of 6 weekly clues.
  3. The final clue will be sent along with the complete pattern on February 19, 2015.

Share the Experience

Part of the fun of a knit-a-long is also in the shared experience with the community. Encourage your friends to participate with you!

Check out the Mystére discussion forum on Ravelry to connect and participate with others.

Happy knitting!

- Melissa

Happy New Year + New store samples!

Happy New Year!

What an incredible holiday season we had – and what an incredible year! We hope that you all enjoyed a lovely end to 2014 and are eagerly looking forward to what 2015 will bring.  As we embark on this new year full of promise and possibilities – and more yarn! – we’d like to take a moment to express our gratitude to each of you for your continued support.  Thank you for making it all possible. Without you, we wouldn’t be here!

To start the year off, we have a few new store samples we’ve been meaning to share with you –


 Under Cover of Midnight Cowl

vampire3Knit with the incredibly soft Misti Alpaca Chunky (100% baby alpaca), our version of Julie Turjoman’s Under Cover of Midnight Hooded Cowl is not only stylish and dramatic but cozy and functional. The beautiful cables provide texture and density while the ample length allows the cowl to be pulled over the head for added protection against the howling winds of winter!

Click here for additional photos and project details on our Ravelry page.

If you’re interested in knitting this cowl with support, Samantha will be teaching it as a 3-session class beginning January 20th. See our winter schedule for more details.

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Exploration Station – Version #2

sw_l_exploration2Lisa’s beautiful version of Stephen West’s Exploration Station features classic greys paired with a gorgeous coral red accent in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (100% merino). A fun and interesting project, this pattern is chock full of challenges and learning opportunities. For the faint of heart, Stephen’s video tutorial support is extremely helpful :-)

Click here for additional photos and project details on our Ravelry page.
Click here to see our first version.

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Bees to Honey Shawl

bees4We love the juxtaposition of stockinette and lace in Amy Miller’s Bees to Honey Shawl. Knitting it with two colours adds visual interest and allows the elegant border to take center stage. We used Manos del Uruguay’s Fino (70% extrafine merino wool, 30% silk) – a super-soft yarn with beautiful drape and ample structure that holds its shape well. Amy’s pattern is easy to follow and includes written as well as charted instructions for the lace border.

Click here for additional photos and project details on our Ravelry page.

bees7- Melissa

Free pattern Friday: ZickZack Scarf

zickzack1(Photo: Christy Kamm)

Christy Kamm has just released a fabulous new scarf on Ravelry!  Created in the style of iconic Italian designer, Missoni, the ZickZack Scarf is easier to knit than it looks.  Chevrons are worked with simple single increases and decreases – and there’s just one pattern repeat, knit over and over. The scarf is knit with two colours of Lang Mille Colori Baby that are alternated every second row.

We currently have 16 colourways of Mille Colori Baby in stock!
Wouldn’t this pattern and yarn make a great gift? :-)

LANG Mille Colori Baby Header-1- Melissa

New in store: Snap ‘n Go Notions Cases and Digital Row Counters!

Snap ‘n Go Notions Case – JUMBO

snapngo2Jumbo-sized Snap ‘n Go Notions Cases™ have eight little compartments to keep all your knitting and crocheting notions neatly separated. Organize your life in a snap and go! The first side features four small rectangular compartments that are perfect for storing stitch markers, buttons, and all those tiny knitting notions you always seem to lose in the bottom of your project bag. Flip apart the second half to reveal three long compartments that are great for holding stitch holders, darning needles, point protectors, safety pins, and other medium sized objects. Finally, the big single compartment sandwiched in the center is perfect for larger items like mini crochet hooks, cable needles, T-pins, a tape measure, and even foldable scissors. This compact little beauty has a hard, sturdy outer shell made of heavy-duty plastic. A hole for a lanyard or key chain is located near the hinge. Notions not included.

Snap ‘n Go Notions Case – Original

snapngo1These original Snap ‘n Go Notions Cases™ have six little compartments to keep you organized. One side features five small compartments of varying sizes and is perfect for storing stitch markers, buttons, point protectors and safety pins while the single compartment on the other side is divided into one large and one small horizontal space. The larger space easily holds items like foldable scissors, stitch holders, mini crochet hooks, cable needles, a tape measure or a row counter. The narrower compartment is the ideal size for storing darning needles and T-pins. The outer shell is made of sturdy, heavy-duty plastic. A hole for a lanyard or key chain is located near the hinge. Notions not included.

Digital Row Counters

digital_countersA digital row counter is the perfect accessory for hands free counting while you knit or crochet. No more stopping to make a mark on a piece of paper or cranking a manual row counter. The electronic counter has a 5 digit LCD screen display that can count from 0 up to 99999 rows with 2 soft touch rubberized silver buttons to control it. Never lose your place while knitting again – the screen goes to sleep after a short period of time and with a quick tap of the large counting button reactivates at the place where you left off. Start over by hitting the reset button and your count goes back to zero. They are made out of ABS plastic, the same material as Lego. The row counter uses a standard AG10 1.5v button cell battery, so when it wears out, simply unscrew the back of the counter to replace it.

- Melissa

Stephen & Steven Tour – update

Need a quick show-stopper of a gift? How about a spot in one of Stephen & Steven’s upcoming classes? Don’t forget, the Stephen and Steven Tour 2015 is coming to Espace Tricot early in the New Year.  Stephen West of Westknits and Steven Berg of StevenBe will be at Espace Tricot on February 14th and 15th and will be teaching classes and sharing their trunk shows over the course of two fun, inspiring, and creative days. Please note that there are only a handful of spaces left in the two classes on offer! The class fee is required to reserve your spot – feel free to call in and reserve by credit card – 514 486-5648.


ss_NewPerspectives_Knitting_w_S-SquaredSaturday, February 14th, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm $95 + tax

Broaden your knitting horizons and change your life with Stephen West and StevenBe. This Dynamic Duo class is designed to be an amazing opportunity to have fun while learning Stephen & Steven’s favorite techniques and best tips and tricks. It will set you free from patterns as written and help you feel comfortable making your own modifications and design decisions. Experience the magic of mixology, taking a variety of yarns from different brands, weights, and fiber contents to create a magical and unique accessory or garment. Start with a base pattern from Stephen or Steven and learn different methods of creating angles and edges, adding new colors, and combining fibers in unique ways to customize the pattern and truly make it yours. You will need for class:

  1. A Stephen or Steven base pattern: Lumpy Space, Earth & Sky, Colonnade, Enchanted Mesa, Eyelet Ponchini, Tasseled Slouch & Cowl, Really Rylie, or Cropped Cardi.
  2. Minimum 3 yarns to work with, best to be a variety of weights or fiber contents. Several fine strands can be combined in this project. Yarns should be chosen prior to class so we can begin immediately. More yarns can be added during class.
  3. A variety of needle sizes will be needed so bring a good selection, even a crochet hook or two.

How it works:

  1. Each student will begin his or her project in a corner, side, center, or top.
  2. You will work on your project with guidance from Stephen and Steven for the first 20 minutes, including a presentation of their “Double Whammy: Best of Stephen & Steven’s Tips & Tricks.” You are encouraged to take good notes so you can complete your project after class.
  3. This should be a fun challenge to guide you in thinking outside the box and working creatively. This workshop will leave you comfortable with deviating from the written pattern and making your own design decisions
  4. You will be given direction and assignments to enable you to complete your project outside of class.

ss_TopDownShawl_S&S Sunday, February 15th, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm $95 + tax Stephen West uses his popular shawl designs to talk about shape, construction, and drape. Students will knit a small triangular swatch while topics such as cast ons, increases, bind offs, and blocking are discussed. You will also learn some of Stephen’s favourite tips and tricks! Materials Scrap yarn and needles of choice for a swatch (Aran/worsted weight recommended) Homework Familiarize yourself with Make One Left (M1L) and Make One Right (M1R) increases if you have never encountered them before.

- Melissa

Something Other Than Knitting

The Holidays are near, and I do not know about you but I am all knit out. Looks like I am going to get all my gifts done on time (hopefully) and with luck everyone who gets something I made is going to like it.

So,  with the knitting all dandy, there is something else that I have been trying to get a grip on  and never really managed: Cookies! Baking cookies for Christmas is a big thing in Germany and I used to bake with my Mom all the time, here I just seem not to be able to actually do it. However, there is usually some holiday baking going on and last year I discovered a recipe that is already a staple in my kitchen.

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Cranberries are such a North-American thing, they are not well known in Europe, if at all. Not to speak of buying them fresh at the market. I do love them, though, and this recipe is another one of the reasons why. I love it so much that I thought I’d share:

Recipe from here at thekitchn.com

Cranberry Cake

Makes one 10-inch springform cake. Alternately: Four 4-cup loaves or 24 to 30 cupcakes.

3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed and softened at room temperature for 1 hour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract, optional
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups cranberries (12-ounce bag)

Optional pecan topping:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup pecans, unroasted

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 10-inch spring form pan (or a collection of smaller pans. This make 10 to 12 cups of batter.)

Use a stand mixer or hand beaters to beat the eggs and sugar until very smooth and increased in volume. If using a stand mixer, beat on medium speed for 4 to 7 minutes, using the whip attachment. If using hand beaters, beat on high speed for 6 to 8 minutes. The egg and sugar mixture will double in volume and turn very pale yellow, leaving ribbons on top of the batter when you lift the beaters.

Beat in the butter, vanilla, and almond extract, if using. Beat for 2 minutes or until the butter is smoothly incorporated.

Use a spatula to fold in the flour, salt, and cranberries. The batter will be quite thick. Spread gently into the prepared pan.

To prepare the optional pecan topping, heat the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sugar and stir. Add the pecans and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring, until the butter and sugar mixture is shiny and smooth and the nuts are well-coated with the butter and sugar. Spread over the cake batter.

Bake 60 to 80 minutes for the springform. For smaller pans, start checking after 30 minutes, but expect small loaves to take at least 40 minutes. Tent the cake with foil in the last 30 minutes of baking to keep the top from browning (this is especially important for the pecan topping).

Cool for 20 minutes then run a knife around the inside edge of the pan and remove the cake. Cool for an hour before serving.

The cake keeps and freezes well. To store, wrap the fully cooled cake tightly in plastic wrap and leave in a dry, cool place for up to 1 week.

To freeze, wrap the fully cooled cake in plastic wrap and then foil. Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight at room temperature, still wrapped.

 

I have made this cake a lot last Christmastime, and then at Thanksgiving again – practically whenever I can find fresh Cranberries at the store. I have also made it with frozen ones, it works well if you just throw them in the batter frozen. I have never tried the pecan topping, I like this cake without it so much that every other addition would not improve the experience, but I do insist on the almond extract, it adds a lot of flavour.

I do not have any picture, mostly because the cake was eaten before I remembered to take one….

Happy Knitting Baking, as ever!

- Mona

 

We have been waiting so (im)patiently for this one…

Madelinetosh A.S.A.P has finally arrived – 38 colours in stock!

ASAPA.S.A.P. is a 100% superwash merino wool, available in the luscious glazed colorways that Madelinetosh does so well. Working up at a super bulky weight, A.S.A.P is perfect for last minute accessories and heavy sweaters that you can complete with quick satisfaction. Each squishy soft skein is hand-dyed in small dye lots and is machine washable.

Length: 90 yards / 82 meters

Gauge:
KNIT – 8 – 10 sts = 4in
CROCHET – 7 – 9 sts = 4in

Suggested needle size: US 13 – 17 / 9.0 – 12.75mm
Suggested hook size: US M13 / 9mm

Care: machine wash in cold water / gentle cycle / air dry flat

(And, just in case we forgot to mention, Madelinetosh Chunky is also fully re-stocked – 45 colourways now available).

- Melissa

Re-stocked: Marblz Needles

Marblz Holiday Box Interchangeable NEEDLE setmarblz

We blogged the arrival of the Knitter’s Pride Marblz Holiday Box Interchangeable Circular Needle Set a few weeks ago and then sold out almost instantly! We now have 6 sets back in stock – will you treat yourself or someone on your list?

Acrylic is skillfully hand-mixed to produce unique colors and patterns making each needle tip in this set a work of art. Marblz are lightweight and smooth yet exceptionally strong and durable.  The needles boast pointy tips, smooth joins, and a comfortable surface that provides just the right amount of ‘grab’ to allow for easy handling of slippery yarns.  Presented in a special black & white box which shows off the beauty of these needles, the set includes 9 pairs of Marblz interchangeable needles in US sizes 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10.5 & 11, (3.5 mm through 8.0 mm) four cables in lengths of 24”, (2) – 32” & 40”, a needle gauge, and a set of cord connectors.

- Melissa

Re-stocked: Quince & Co. OWL

owl_restockedWe’re happy to report that, after a long wait, we are now fully re-stocked with Quince & Co’s lovely Owl yarn (all 25 colours)!

“Squishy, lofty, plump, little Owl is made from a blend of American alpaca and wool. It’s spun and dyed in New England and knits up between 4 ½ to 5 stitches per inch, the perfect weight for just about everything.”

We’ve knit the Livezey House Wrap as a store sample using Owl and know that many of you have been waiting for the colours we used to become available again. Now here they are, just in time for holiday knitting! This wrap is cozy, pretty, and warm – the perfect thing to keep the chill at bay through the cold winter months.

Click here for more photos and details on our Ravelry project page.

- Melissa

livezey7 livezey3

Holiday Hours

To help you plan :-)

Monday, December 22nd: 10h30 – 17h00
Tuesday, December 23rd: 10h30 – 17h00
Wednesday, December 24th: 10h30 – 16h00
Thursday, December 25th: Closed
Friday, December 26th: Closed
Saturday, December 27th: 10h30 – 17h00
Sunday, December 28th: 12h00– 16h00
Monday, December 29th: Closed
Tuesday, December 30th: 10h30 – 17h00
Wednesday, December 31st: 10h30 – 16h00
Thursday, January 1st: Closed
Friday, January 2nd: 10h30 – 17h00

- Melissa

Thoughtful Gifting

This is not a blog post about choosing thoughtful gifts, this is a blog post about how give knitted gifts thoughtfully. I am not talking about you deciding if giving a hat or mittens or a cowl – I am talking about how to give a knitted gift in a way that you and the recipient get the most out of it.

I have made different experiences with knitted gifts. As mentioned before, I do like to bestow knitted gifts onto worthy recipients. I do enjoy knitting for others, but when I am done I want to be sure that my work is appreciated. It is way more satisfying that way. For the knitter and the giftee.

So, make it easy on yourself and the clueless, non-knitting recipient. Tell them how to treat your work, so it will last longer than one wash in the machine or toss in the dryer – accidentally or not. Tell them that ‘hand wash’ does not mean hours of rinsing soapy suds from wet woolly things, but minutes of TLC if using a no rinse wash. Tell them that even though “Woolite” has the word wool in the name it is not necessarily the best solution for their hand knit woollies. Tell them that if they want to enjoy the gift for a long while they should take good care of them – and, most importantly of all, tell them how.

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And yes, these and a variety of other tags of this kind are available at the store!

I, for one, like to use gift tags to do exactly that. Like a label in clothes they have the care instructions printed on the back, and you only have to circle the appropriate ones. I also usually add a sample of no rinse soap in the mix, with the explanation how to do it, if it is not already written on the sample itself. This applies only if you did not use superwash yarn, meaning yarn that is not suitable for machine washing.

Last but not least: even if you used superwash yarn, tell them how to treat the knitted item anyways. Suitable for machine wash does still imply gentle care, so explain about the gentle or hand wash cycle on their washing machine. Tell them to please not use the dryer, unless the yarn label – or rather: your instructions – specifically says they can. Most of all, try to assure them that your work is worthwhile the effort, and maybe mention if they do take good care of their woollies you might be inclined to knit some more…

After all this is said and done you might find anyways that some of your giftees have lost, shrunk or sold (just kidding!) their knits  – I guess the degree of your generosity will decide if you knit for them again, and again, and again…

Happy Knitting, as ever!

- Mona

New store sample: Lovely Ribbed Cowl

lovelyribbed4We love the simplicity of Purl Soho’s Lovely Ribbed Cowl. Vertical ribbing that widens softly at the bottom for a relaxed, comfortable fit – easy, quick, chic. Knit with Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino – a luscious DK weight blend of baby alpaca and merino. Perfect for working on when socializing or watching TV. Also a great project if you need a knitted gift in a hurry!

View additional photos and project details on our Ravelry page.

lovelyribbed2All Suri Merino colourways currently in stock :-)

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- Melissa

Sometimes you don’t want to knit socks…

hat_scrumptious2 Scrumptious Purl Stripe Me Up sock yarn by our very own Samantha has been a run-away hit with customers over the last two months.  The colours, the precision dyeing, and the stunning presentation make Stripe Me Up impossible to resist – even for those among us who don’t generally knit socks.  I decided to see how this yarn – designed to yield 4 perfect rows per stripe on an average sized sock – would do knit up as a hat for my 10 year old son. Result? Brilliant!

hat_scrumptious1Although I didn’t get exactly 2 rows per stripe – you need to look pretty closely to see find small variations. Fun to knit and even more fun to wear, we can’t recommend this yarn highly enough for smaller accessories – wrist warmers, fingerless gloves, and neck warmers are also great options to try.

For the hat, I used Erika Knight’s basic hat pattern in Regia Design Line Journal #610.  I increased the needle size and knit the smaller version. Cast on 136 stitches in order to be able to knit a 2×2 instead of 1×1 rib.

Yarn and pattern booklet available in store. Booklet also contains patterns for socks and fingerless gloves.

Visit our Ravelry page for additional photos and project details.

All 18 colourways of Scrumptious Purl Stripe Me Up currently in stock (16 shown)…

Scrumptious_purl_stripe_Groups-2

Did we forget to mention?

rowan_kshWe recently re-stocked Rowan Kidsilk Haze and now have 46 colourways available for your knitting pleasure :-)

rowan_earth_stripe_wrapAlso, for those who may be interested, we just received a notice from Rowan letting us know that their Earth Stripe Wrap pattern, originally published in the Rowan Knitting & Crochet Magazine 42, has been released as a free pattern download.  Designed by Kaffe Fassett using Kidsilk Haze, this large colourful wrap with fringed edging is a simple yet stunning accessory – the kind that will always be in style and inspire the admiration and envy of all who see it (…draped casually around your shoulders, for example).

:-)

For inspiration, click here to view to popular versions of this wrap on Ravelry.

- Melissa